Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jack The Stripper

Mystery Motorist

Throughout the summer of 1964, as well as arming themselves with knives, many London prostitutes worked in pairs in order to keep watch on each other's movements, and provide witnesses should anything untoward occur. 21-year-old Edinburgh native Frances Brown (also known as Margaret McGowan) and her friend Kim Taylor jokingly teased each other about the possibility of meeting the murderer over a drink in a Notting Hill pub on the night of October 23, 1964. When they were approached on the street by two motorists shortly afterwards, they split up and got into the pair's separate cars, although not before taking a look at one another's client.

Margret McGowan
Margret McGowan

Taylor later told police that her friend got into either a Ford Zephyr or Zodiac, and failed to return. She would spend over a month fearing the worst before, on November 25th, Frances Brown's body was found on a side street in nearby Kensington. The hallmarks of Jack The Stripper were all evident a small prostitute, erstwhile STD carrier, stripped and left for dead, paint spots on the body. Curiously, like Hannah Tailford, Brown had minor connections with the Profumo affair, having testified in the court case to having been hired by Dr. Stephen Ward, the society osteopath who procured hookers for powerful men.

Dr. Stephen Ward
Dr. Stephen Ward

However, Kim Taylor's witness statement seemed a far more promising lead. The resulting identikit pictures showed a round-faced man of medium height and sturdy build. Police believed he may have been visiting London for the nearby Earls Court Motor Show, and might have connections to the motor trade. Meanwhile, a silver cross on a chain, and a gold ring, had been stolen from the victim. Could the killer be collecting "trophies" from his victims? Psychologists also suggested that the killer was in all likelihood an outwardly meek and mild individual, who was probably small in stature and picked on small women who he could overpower. But vague conjecture such as this was unlikely to lead to an arrest. A witness identification just might. Could someone put a name to the identikit's face before another body was found?

Police sketch
Police sketch

 

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